Degree Name

MS in Fire Protection Engineering


College of Engineering


Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual


This report has been prepared to review and analyze the Fire and Life Safety status of the proposed Gym & Aquatics building at Mt. San Antonio College. This was done using two methods: prescriptive and performance based. The prescriptive section examines the explicitly code-mandated requirements for the building and the performance-based section examines implicit requirements for the building based on the goals presented in the Life Safety Code, NFPA 101.

The subject building is a 147,000 square foot, two-story, steel-framed athletics complex occupied primarily for assembly and business uses. The structure has an indoor and outdoor component with two gymnasiums inside the building and two competition pools in the outdoor component. The second floor of the building consists predominantly of a fitness center and access to the upper viewing deck for the outdoor pool. The first floor also has fitness facilities, team facilities, and coaching offices. The complex will be used daily for fitness, training, and practices, and it will be used intermittently for competitions and special events.

The prescriptive analysis found that the building requires fire resistive construction as prescribed, appropriately rated finishes, adequate exit quantities, an automatic fire sprinkler system, and a manual fire alarm system with voice alarm and visual notification devices located throughout the building. All requirements were met except for four egress system deficiencies. One exit stair shaft providing egress for 2nd floor occupants was proposed with a rating of 1-Hr and is required to be increased to 2-Hr. Additionally, the maximum exit travel distance is exceeded for a portion of the Wellness Center. A second rated exit stair is recommended to eliminate this deficiency. Third, there are two exits in the Main Gym that are not spaced at the minimum separation distance of 58 ft. for that room. Shifting the doorway by 10 ft. would resolve this issue. Finally, the exit discharges to the Northwest and South of the building have insufficient width on the path to the public way. It is recommended to shift the Northwest gate to be shifted to discharge directly to the public way and for a safe dispersal area to be provided on the Southern court of the building.

The performance-based analysis examined an exiting analysis in a fire scenario to compare the available safe egress time (ASET) to the required safe egress time (RSET). The selected design fire was located on the first floor in the concessions stand near the main lobby entrance. The basis of selection was the proximity to the primary exiting space for multiple densely populated areas of the building. The heat release rate for the fire was based on the burning of potato chips on open wire racks and igniting a neighboring storage array of bagged cola syrup.

The RSET value was calculated by summing the time to detection, time to notification, pre-movement time, and movement time, totaling 9.14 minutes. The ASET time was found by selecting a tenability criteria and calculating the time to untenable conditions. The selected criteria were smoke layer descent and 3-meter visibility at a level of 6 ft. above the highest walking surface. Of these two, the visibility was more restrictive, with an ASET value of 2.5 minutes. In conclusion, based on these criteria, there was not sufficient time to protect the occupants from untenable conditions in the design fire scenario.

Based on the findings of the prescriptive and performance-based analysis, final recommendations have been provided at the end of the report to increase the fire rating of the exit stair shaft from 1-Hr to 2-Hr as well as adding a new exit from the Wellness Center.

Hoeft FPE 596 Project - Final Presentation.pdf (11999 kB)
Final Presentation



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